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Liver Transplant Faq: Living Donor

Liver Transplant Faq: Living Donor

August 4, 2020

Introduction

A liver transplant is a process of replacing diseased and damaged liver with a healthy functioning liver. A living person can also donate a liver. A living donor should comply with various criteria. Due to advanced technology and world-class facilities, the donor has fewer complications.

What Are The Criteria For Living Donor?

A liver transplant can be done through a living donor transplant and cadaver transplant. In the living donor transplant, the liver is donated by a living person while the liver from a dead person is used in a cadaver transplant. The living donor should comply with the following criteria:

  • – Should be between the age of 18 years to 60 years.
  • – Not suffering from critical disease.
  • – Overall in good health
  • – Provide voluntary consent for liver donation
  • – Compatible with the patient’s blood group

Which Diseases Disqualify A Person As Living Donor?

The liver donation aims to save the life of the patient while preventing or reducing the complications to a minimum. People with the following diseases are disqualified from being a living donor:

  • Liver cancer
  • – Hepatitis
  • – Psychiatric disorders
  • – Mentally unstable and cannot understand the risk involved in the surgery
  • – HIV infection
  • – Any serious medical condition that mat aggravated after surgery.

What Are The Various Advantages Of Living Donor For Patient?

Living donor offers the following advantages for patients:

Less waiting time: With the living donor transplant, the waiting time of the patient for a healthy liver is reduced. Many critical patients die while waiting for a new liver.

Hassle-free preparation: In the case of the cadaver liver transplantation, the patient is informed and advised to reach the hospital immediately for surgery. The patient must be ready all the time for surgery. In the case of a living donor transplant, the time and date of surgery can be scheduled.

How The Living Donor Is Evaluated?

The safety of living donors is equally important. Thus, the donor must undergo comprehensive health check-up before giving a go-ahead for surgery. Following are the tests are done:

Complete blood test: The living donor undergo various blood tests for the identification of any health condition. Liver function tests are performed to determine the health of the liver. Compatibility matching of the patient and donor is done.

Imaging techniques: Various imaging techniques such as MRI, ultrasound, and CT scan is done to rule out the possibility of liver cancer.

Psychological tests: The mental health condition of the donor is evaluated before surgery.

Do I Have A Pain During Or After The Surgery?

The surgery is performed through general anesthesia. You will not feel any pain during the surgery. However, once the effect of anesthesia subsides, you may start feeling pain. The pain can be managed through analgesics.

What Are The Possible Complications Of Surgery?

Following are some of the surgical complications:

  • – Bleeding
  • – Infection
  • – Gastrointestinal side effects
  • – Bile leak from the liver
  • – Thrombus formation
  • – Cardiovascular complications
  • – Hernia

What Would Be My Recovery Period?

After the surgery, you may stay at the hospital for 7-10 days. At the start, you will be on liquid. However, you may be allowed to eat 4-5 days after surgery. Within three months after surgery, you can perform routine tasks and may resume your work.

Do I Have To Take Medications After My Surgery?

You have to take only the pain-relieving medications that may also be taper down and discontinued once the pain subsides permanently.

When Will My Liver Get Back To Normal Size?

Living donor liver transplant is possible because of the unique ability of the liver to grow back to its original size. The liver attains the original size within 6-weeks after the surgery.

What Precautions I Have To Take After Surgery?

Refrain from drinking alcohol and smoking after the surgery. Do not lift heavy objects at least 6-weeks after the surgery.